Amy will tell you that Waterpark Wednesday are pretty special at Schlitterbahn. That’s because along with groups of other special needs families, she and her family come to play under a program set up by the New Braunfels. That, and there’s a pink duck she loves to see.
Early in the season, special needs families, working through various local support groups and agencies, can visit Schlitterbahn on Wednesday for three hours for a greatly reduced rate.
“The idea started when we talked to a few of the special needs parents in our community who helped us understand the challenges their families have when visiting an attraction like ours,” said Winter Prosapio, Corporate Director of Communications for Schlitterbahn. “For many special needs kids, our park can be overwhelming for more than a few hours. We wanted to create a unique kind of day – we call it Waterpark Wednesdays – that would meet their needs and let them create wonderful memories at the same time.”
Wednesdays were chosen because it’s the slowest day of the week at Schlitterbahn, which is important for special needs kids. Many of the kids need to visit when there are less stimulation and fewer crowds to navigate with wheelchairs and other equipment. The reduced rate allows families, who are already having to deal with medical and therapy costs, to enjoy the park.
Amy Jo (4), along with her mom, Anie Heynis, enjoyed Waterpark Wednesdays last season. “Amy Jo loves the pink duck and got really excited to see pink alligators in the lazy river,” said Heynis in a recent social post. “It was her first time and she was using both hands! She rode on top of one today, around a few times and not in a baby tube!”
The first Waterpark Wednesday takes place on May 15th. Oakwood Church Special Needs Ministry, the Arc of the Hill Country and Endless Possibilities for Special Stars (a New Braunfels group of special needs families) all work together to bring 60 special needs families (about 240 participants) to the park. The groups each rotate the available slots so different families in the communities can get their turn.
For information on how your special needs family can take part, reach out to Oakwood Church Special Needs Ministry, the Arc of the Hill Country, or Endless Possibilities for Special Stars.